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Fall Rhythms and Routines

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The house is quiet this morning. I showered and put on mascara without a tiny interrupter asking if she could have second breakfast yet. Anyone else have kids with Hobbit-like stomachs? 

But not today. Today we launched our two girls into the world after their favorite breakfast, a quick prayer and extra hugs. The prep work of getting them back into school is mostly done. We bought the notebooks, extra folders, a new lunchbox and non-itchy socks. They are ready! Mission accomplished, right?

In years past, this is where I’ve missed a step. I’ve focused so hard on the launching, I haven’t considered the questions around re-entry. What’s the plan for when they get home? And I don’t just mean questions about snacks and screen time, but what kind of mood and spirit do I want the afternoons and evenings to look like? And how can I teach them more autonomy this year? How can I get them on board with packing healthy lunches for themselves and not leaving their water bottles and shoes strewn all over the house?!

We need new rhythms. Ones for each point in the day that build on themselves as the kids find their new normal routine. I don’t expect them to have it all together the first week (or month!) but I do want to teach them more skills and responsibility with each school year as they grow.

Here are some preliminary thoughts as we kick off Fall. Maybe it will be helpful for you as you launch and prepare for re-entry with your own kiddos.


The 3 R’s of Establishing a Fall Rhythm


  1. Retraining - This started before the first day of school, but I know it will take several weeks to implement. Getting up, dressed, breakfast, brush teeth, get meds, etc. It’s a lot of small steps to get done, and I don’t want to have to repeat it everyday for the rest of my days. But they still need these reminders. What tools or strategies can I implement to help retrain my kids this Fall? Do we need a checklist? A dry erase board? Alarm clocks? Or just more practice and grace? Yes, always more grace.


  1. Resetting - This is a huge struggle in our house. Prepping for the next day tends to get forgotten between dinner cleanup and bath time. Then the next morning, we’re scrabbling to find notebooks and that favorite sweatshirt. Making this an evening rhythm will take some effort on my part, but habits don’t happen overnight. It’s worth the extra time and energy for a peaceful morning.


  1. Reflecting - Sitting down each Sunday and taking a look at the past week is so helpful. What went smooth? What could be changed or adjusted? What do we need to pay attention to? What can we let go? Getting my kids into this habit will hopefully be a skill they use and implement often. Reflection is too often overlooked, but so valuable for moving forward.


This is where I’m putting my energy this Fall when it comes to establishing new rhythms. If you’re curious how I implement them, be sure to follow along on Instagram. I’ll start a highlight there for Fall routines and rhythms. We’re in this together!


Happy September, friends!

xo

Erin

Enneagram 102 | Dive Deeper!

enneagram-basics

If you are new to the Enneagram, I highly recommend reading the 101 version of this blog post! Once you have a basic understanding of your number and potential wings, come back here to dive deeper.


Source: The Enneagram Institute

Source: The Enneagram Institute

The 3 Triads

If you notice, the Enneagram symbol has 3 different sections. These are called the Triads. Your Triad tells you what your center of intelligence, or body connection is. Basically, how you see, process and respond to the world. There are three types under each Triad and knowing yours, could help you better understand your tendencies and behaviors. It could also help you understand your loved ones and why they function similarly or different from you.

 Remember, one of the goals of the Enneagram is for us to have more compassion for others. We don’t use this information to excuse poor behavior or vindicate our choices. It’s simply a tool to help us learn more about ourselves and others. You might grow to understand….

  • Why your brother might always seem to pick a fight.

  • Why your bestie stuffs her own feelings, but validates everyone else’s.

  • Why your co-worker appears self absorbed all the time, but you know she’s got more to offer.

one of the goals of the Enneagram is for us to have more compassion for others...

The 3 Triads

Head (fear-based) 5s, 6s, 7s

These types are driven by fear. They tend to think and plan carefully before they act. 

Type 5 - externalize fear by searching for more knowledge: “I need to do more research first.”

Type 6 - internalize fear by considering worse-case scenarios: “I’m not sure this is a good idea.”

Type 7 - forget fear by avoiding and chasing new adventures: “What’s next?!”

Heart (feeling based) 2s, 3s, 4s

These types relate to life from their heart. They are typically more aware of appearances and very image-conscious. 

Type 2 - focus outwardly on the feelings of others: “Let’s talk about you first.”

Type 3 - have trouble recognizing their own and others feelings: “Those aren’t tears, I have allergies.”

Type 4 - concentrate on their own feelings: “I am unique snowflake.”


Gut (anger-based) 8s, 9s, 1s

These types are honest, blunt and direct. They react instinctually or from their gut. 

Type 8 - externalize their anger physically and powerfully: “I’m so mad about this!”

Type 9 - forget or deny anger to avoid pain: “No really, it’s fine.”

Type 1 - internalize or repress their anger: “I’m in control.”


The Enneagram is so much more than just a simple personality test! When we dive deeper, we learn more about our tendencies, core fears and inner narrative. The things we tell ourselves has a strong hold on the lives we lead. If this felt uncomfortable to read, I get it! As a 7, I know that I am skilled at jumping from fun event to fun event to avoid pain and boredom. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s the truth. Knowing is half the battle, right?

I’d love to know how you’re using the Enneagram in your everyday life. Have you shared the quiz with your spouse or family yet? If not, let me encourage you to take that step. I can’t wait to hear about what you learn!

Best,

Erin

Meal Planning Mindsets | #MomLife | Limitless Motherhood

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We can’t talk about meal planning without first talking about perfectionism.

Stay with me.


If we aim to plan our family dinners in a perfectly Pinterest way - we set ourselves up to fail.


If I’m only satisfied when my meal resembles some famous blogger’s Tuesday night dinner - I will crash and burn every time.


Because it turns out, I am not a food blogger. Or an expert chef. Or baker. Or food photographer. I’m clearly none of these things.



But, do I love to serve my family well? Absolutely.

Do I want dinner to be less about prepping and more about connecting? Yep.


Here’s the thing:

Meal planning is less about culinary skill and more about who’s around the table.


If any of that rings true for you, know you’re in good company. I think most of us just want to do this whole meal planning thing better. We’ve got no energy for the 5pm What’s for Dinner?! stress. And the internet and our friends all have solutions. We try their tips for awhile, but then quickly fizzle out. I have so been there. Multiple times.


Anytime I try to emulate somebody else’s meal planning protocol, I fail a few weeks in. Because their life is not my life. We all have different needs, tastes and budgets.


Although we can certainly glean advice from others, (and should!) meal planning feels impossible because we have to tweak it and create it ourselves. That’s the hard truth, because it would be so much easier if the deciding was done for us. Right? I get it.


We’re continuing this conversation over in the Limitless Motherhood Facebook group and newsletter! Don’t worry, there are ZERO pretty PDFs involved telling you how to meal plan. Just practical advice and a dose or reality around dinner time.

We all have different needs, tastes and budgets.


I can’t wait to hear what works for you and what doesn’t. Let’s tackle meal planning together!

Best,

Erin

Limitless Motherhood Facebook Community!

Motherhood Facebook Community

I believe that social media should be just that…social! I’m so tired of ads, political rants and people yelling at the internet. One way I’ve found the fun on social media is through Facebook groups. I’m in a variety of amazing groups where the focus is connection, collaboration and growth. Okay, and there’s usually some pretty epic GIF threads happening as well LOL.


Twice a month I send out the Limitless Motherhood newsletter to readers, but I’ve been missing connecting with them every day. So, we carried the conversation over into a Facebook group and we’re having so much fun getting to know one another!

Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much
— Helen Keller

Our topics have ranged from favorite podcasts on motherhood to morning routines. It’s my hope to use this group as an encouragement and not just add to the noise of Facebook. If you’re looking for a group with a more positive and uplifting atmosphere, then I hope you’ll join us!

And if you’re not on the email list yet, start there! I promise nothing spammy, just two short emails a month from yours truly. Hint: Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day topic is about the 5 Love Languages!

P.S. If you’re still reading, I’m sending you all the non-creepy internet hugs! I have some BIG writing goals over the next several months. Would you help hold me accountable? I’ll be sharing more of my process over on Instagram. AND there is a super fun giveaway starting todaaaay! So hop on over - you can find me @erinammons there.

See you soon!

Erin

The Latest from Instagram…

There's Nothing Magical About January | Limitless Motherhood

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Doesn’t this month feel approximately 537 days long? Clearly we’ve been January-ing for at least 2 months now.


You know what January feels like to me at this point? It feels like striving. Striving to stay on course with our sunny New Years resolutions and try-harder-next-times. 


January feels like homework.

January feels like a budget.


It’s freezing outside, but not snowing.

Everyone has raw noses.

We checked so many boxes, but not that one.

We’re having the best start to the year EVER…or we’re nowhere close.


Wherever you find yourself at the end of January, know this:

There is nothing magical about January.

But there is something magical in letting go of all the striving. Silencing the voice that reminds you that you’re not quite where you wanted to be. It whispers about how your aim faltered or shattered way off course. 

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Or maybe your January has been incredible and you feel extra pressure to make February even better. Worried you’ll slip off track next time, convinced that your bubble will burst. Am I the only one who worries about being too happy?


But if your January looked imperfect, you’re in good company. 

Let’s remember that we can change our minds. 

We can decide something isn’t working. 

We can choose to sit and wait. 

We can get up and go. 

We can try again or not.

It’s only a month and there are eleven more just like it.


Focus that attention on what you did right or where you witnessed kindness. Things that made you smile and look up from your to-do list. 


Thank January for what it taught you and carry along any good habits it brought. Forgive all the rest.


P.S. If you’re a Mom in the middle of striving, I have a community just for us. Hop over to the Facebook group and introduce yourself. I can’t wait to meet you!

Best,

Erin

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The Latest From Instagram:

My Word of the Year + Social Media Break(thru)

word-of-the-year

Happy 2019, friends! I hope you had a restful and joy-filled holiday. I know the other parents out there are probably relieved the kids are back to school, but also sad because holiday break is officially over. I’m definitely in that bittersweet camp. I’m ready for our routine to return, but I so loved our pajamas-till-noon-Christmas-movie-marathon week of cookies and snuggles. My soul needed it!

There’s lots of chatter around the start of January about choosing a word for the year. One word that acts as an anchor for your intentions in the coming seasons. I have been doing this for several years now and find it really helps me prepare for the months ahead.

In the past few years, my words have been:

2016 - Brave

2017 - Intentional

2018 - Patient

I thought my word for 2019 was going to be clarity. But, as I mined through my powersheets, the word ‘keep’ came to the front of my mind. Keep is a small, seemingly inconsequential word. What could it possibly do for me? It didn’t feel weighty or important enough.

But that word just wouldn’t leave me alone. I considered all the different uses and meanings. There’s a lot for such a little word! And many of them apply to where my heart is right now.

as in:

…keep going

…keep pursuing

…keep the faith

…keep it up

…keep staying open

…keep showing up


Once I dove into
thesarus.com and began to unpack ALL the meanings and sub-meanings around this word, I was blown away.

Synonyms: carry, enjoy, manage, preserve, save, direct, grasp, retain

In many ways, all these synonyms feel like behaviors that would bring me more clarity. In this keeping, I’ll unlock certainty in different areas of my life. I’m ready to ‘keep’ 2019.

Keep.jpg

Since November, I’d been planning on taking a more extended social media sabbatical. When you run a business, Facebook and Instagram are (like it or not) necessary tools to grow and reach an audience. It had been on my heart though that it was time to put the phone down over Christmas break and be present with the people I love best.

Even though my decision felt resolute, I was worried that the temptation to check my notifications would still be there. Would the habit be too strong to shake? 

Welp, it’s been over 10 days and I’m so proud of myself for keeping the commitment. If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of taking a longer break, do it!

Here are a few takeaways from my social media sabbatical:

  • Feeling more even-keeled and less quick to anger over small frustrations.

  • I can leave my phone behind sometimes. I did forget it on a quick grocery store run, and embraced how free it felt.

  • Taking pictures for the joy of my family and not just to share online.

  • Less FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) and feeling truly content.

  • I slowed down and made room to just do nothing.

My best breakthrough? It was way easier and painless than I had anticipated. I’d envisioned it being so much harder, but truthfully…I was ready for the break.

The week between Christmas and New Year feels like a sort of time warp. It goes quickly but seems to stretch and linger. Can you relate?

I hope you got a chance to breath and reset for the new year. If you have a word for 2019, drop it in the comments below - I’d love to hear!

Best,

Erin

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Are you in?

Join the Limitless Motherhood community and be encouraged in 2019!

'Quiet the Noise' Newsletter Series! | Limitless Motherhood

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My ever insightful sister texted this to me yesterday…

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…was anything ever more true?! If you just laughed or snorted or nodded your head, friend - you.are.not.alone.

It’s coming. The joy and excitement of the holidays! And yet, (uh oh, here comes the and yet) we are busier than ever during a season meant for slowing and savoring.

Let me start by saying I have zero intentions of adding more to your already fully loaded plate. Next week that plate will be loaded with Thanksgiving dinner yumminess, but will your head and heart match up with the spirit of the day? These are the things I ruminate over. I know, it’s weird.

But, here we are.

So, I’m creating a simple step for us. A way to limit all that noise, noise…noise!

And no, I’m not talking about little Cindy Lou making a racket down in WhoVille.

I’m talking about the noise from our newsfeeds, email accounts and piles of clutter. The holiday season can be so loud, and I don’t want that stealing my joy.

Because if we can limit just a fraction of the noise and stress coming at us, maybe we can find some space to breath. Just maybe there’s a bit of white space waiting for us to lean into. A pair of cozy slippers for our overwhelmed minds.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be sending out a short series of challenges in the Limitless Motherhood newsletter. These challenges are meant to give you one simple step to quieting the noise. This series will include 3 challenges, all sent out over the weeks leading up to Christmas. It’s my hope they will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to celebrate with intention!

Not on the list yet? Click below and join the newsletter so you don’t miss a thing!

The first challenge is coming tomorrow! Use the following hashtag over on instagram so I can find and cheer you on throughout the series this season!

#quietthenoise2018

I can’t wait for us to all find more white space this holiday season. Let’s end the year with purpose and a peaceful mind! Chat soon.

Best,

Erin

Why Regina George Scares Me | Limitless Motherhood

Today, I’m sharing an excerpt from my monthly newsletter, the Limitless Motherhood. If you find yourself nodding along, sign up for these encouraging twice-monthly emails! Or send this link to a friend who needs to accept a compliment because she’s all things amazing.

motherhood-encourage

“I really love that new rug. You did a great job decorating this room!”

 

“Well, don’t look in the kids’ bedrooms. SUCH a mess.”

 

“Love your haircut, you look so pretty!”

 

“Glad you didn’t see me an hour ago, ha!”

 

“What a great party! You outdid yourself planning the details.”

 

“Oh, I found everything on Pinterest. There’s no way I could think all this up!”

 

When someone offers you a compliment, what’s your initial response? If you’re anything like me, you might:

  • sidestep that compliment with the skills of a verbal ninja

  • make a joke in which my looks or abilities are the inevitable punch line

  • thank the person, but always with some limiting “but…” so they don’t think I think I’m better than everyone (perfect logic - right?)

  • be as self-effacing as possible…I wouldn’t want to appear "snooty"

  • boomerang the compliment and immediately redirect the focus back on the other person

Enough is enough.

Why do I feel the need to belittle every kind word thrown my way? For the majority of my adult life, this has been my automatic response. Afterwards, I’ll replay the scene in my mind, and am embarrassed that I still respond this way. 

When I have graciously accepted a compliment before, I do so with a smile, eye contact and a direct “thank you!” Even if I feel a little sick in my stomach the entire time.

It doesn’t always make a difference who delivers the compliment, a stranger, friend or even my husband. My response is usually the same. In my jumbled brain, the act of humbling myself against the onslaught of a compliment protects me from becoming *gasp*….a snob.

Ridiculous, right? As if accepting a genuine compliment makes me appear egocentric and pretentious. My ugly fear of being perceived as a Regina George is its' own inner Mean Girl.

Recently, I’ve noticed how my six-year-old daughter responds after I compliment her. 

 

“Did you make that all by yourself? Wow, you’re so creative!”

 

“Thanks! I really like it.”

 

As simple as that. She accepts and enjoys my compliment. She allows my words to wash over her fill her emotional cup. 

Why can’t I always do the same?

My daughters are watching and listening. If whenever their Mom is complimented and she brushes it off, what will they learn? 

  • They will learn to limit themselves. 

  • To downplay their gifts and abilities. 

  • They might listen to their own inner mean girls.

  • They’ll believe that self assurance is conceited. 

 

Clearly, this is not what I want for them - or for myself. There is a time and place for teaching our children humility, but they also need to learn the art of accepting a compliment with grace.

The next time I receive praise, I’ll accept it with a smile and a genuine thank you

No side stepping or Regina-phobia allowed.

 

Best,

Erin

motherhood-support

Fall Favorites! | #MomLife

1. Powersheets - If you’ve not heard of Lara Casey, please let me introduce you here! She is the creator of the highly successful and inspiring Powersheets line of planners. These are planners that help you achieve your daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals.

She preaches progress over perfection and I can certainly relate to that! I love the Tending Lists so I can see all my September goals at a glance. It sits with my daily planner on my desk and I can check in when I’m feeling a bit scattered. Even me, a B-Type personality who resists structure, THRIVES with this planner. She’ll be launching the 2019 line soon - so check it out!

Momlife

2. The Enneagram - You guys, when I discover something this amazing - I.go.deep. I’m not sure where I heard about the Enneagram first, but I’ve always been a fan of personality assessments and profiles. There are 9 personality profiles and everyone falls into one number or ‘wings’ with other numbers. It’s fascinating! I am all about knowing myself better AND knowing more about the people in my life. The more we understand, the better and more purposely we can love others well.

Clearly, I’m super enthusiast about this topic. With that hint, can you guess my number?;) Curious? This is the link to the quiz I took: Explore Your Type.

3. Chili Recipes - We’re not big sports fans in my house, but we do love an excuse for warm and cozy food. I love trying a new chili recipe each Fall and tweaking favorites to make them even tastier. If you’ve been making the same recipe for years, consider adding different beans, spices, peppers, pumpkin or sweet potato. The options are endless and super yummy. If you have a go-to recipe, share it in the comments below!

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4. Real Pumpkins - I know this one sounds strange, but after taking The Nester’s Fall course I am a changed woman. Instead of using all plastic or fabric pumpkins in our Fall decor, I’m on the lookout for real pumpkins instead. I’m looking for quirky, unique, statement pumpkins. If you’re out and see a good local spot with several - holler at me!

5. Cardigans - Honestly, these are a year round fav and I don’t even own many pullover sweaters. Cardigans are perfect for layering and I crave a variety this time of year. Even with my capsule wardrobe, these act as ‘extras’ so I’ll snag one or two new ones each Fall. Not sure what a capsule wardrobe is? I shared my experience about it on the blog, HERE!

What are you loving this Fall?! I’d love to know! Chat soon, friends.

Best,

Erin

Finding Imperfect Balance this Fall | Limitless Motherhood

limitless-motherhood-community

In July, I launched the Limitless Motherhood Newsletter. Twice a month, readers get a short and sweet note straight to their inboxes. These emails offer encouragement for Moms who want more from their lives.

It's my hope these emails will inspire, motivate and help other women feel a little less alone. Even in a world with so many social media platforms... we still crave real connection with others. The Limitless Motherhood is my answer to all the noise. If you haven't yet, I hope you'll join us!

A fresh newsletter is coming tomorrow where we'll chat about how September feels like the new January. If you've been feeling conflicted over this new season, or even if you're ready for aaaall the pumpkin treats - it's okay to own that. I'll also be sharing a list of my current favorite books, podcasts, movies, and products if you're on the lookout for some inspiration this Fall! 

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When you sign up for the newsletter, you'll also receive Finding Imperfect Balance: A Guide to Getting Unstuck, no Matter your Season for free! This is a 5-page printable that helps you emotionally and physically prep for Fall. With a handful of purposeful questions and space to brainstorm, it's my hope this will help Moms feel more equipped this season! 

Take a moment before this busy season starts and consider what really matter right now. Not what's important to someone else or what's on Pinterest. It's not about finding perfect balance, because I'm not convinced that really exists. It's more about purposely choosing to hold on to just a few things instead of everything. 

If you're already signed up, your guide will be delivered in tomorrow's newsletter. Be sure to use our hashtag, #limitlessmotherhood so we can connect on Instagram!

I can't wait to get to know you better! Thanks for being here. xo

 

Best,

Erin

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